One of my favorite things on earth is a festive cocktail.
Seriously. It just puts me in a good mood. And not because of the booze!
It just makes the atmosphere feel fun and…festive, for lack of a better word. It sets the mood to “celebration.”
And that’s exactly what this sangria does.
I love making sangria for the holidays. The reasons why are numerous. First, it’s really easy. Second, it’s mostly make ahead. And third, it’s pretty!
And most importantly: it’s delicious!
I’ve made sangria a couple times on this blog before (this one is one of the most consistently popular recipes on the site for YEARS now), but I recently realized that I am a much bigger fan of sangria than my cocktail index shows! I should have double or triple the amount of sangria recipes on this site than I currently do.
Consider this a new project for me: more sangria recipes!
We all win.
This recipe, in particular, is a favorite of mine. It’s full of fall flavor and is the perfect mix of sweet, tart, boozy, and bubbly.
It all starts with a spiced simple syrup, which as the name implies, is really freaking easy to make. Boil sugar and water together until the sugar dissolves and then add in some whole spices to give it a ton of warmth and flavor. I like cinnamon, star anise, and cloves here, but you could use any combo of fall/warming spices that you like! Sliced fresh ginger or cardamom pods would both be great additions or swaps. You can tailor this to your tastes very easily.
Once you have the syrup ready and cooled, the sangria can be made in minutes. Whisk the syrup and some store-bought apple butter together in the bottom of a large pitcher or punch bowl. Add in the wine and sliced apples, oranges, and pears, along with a few additional cinnamon sticks. I like to use a dry but light white wine for this, so a sauvignon blanc or a pinot grigio would be great.
I like to make this a few hours ahead of time and just keep it in the fridge until I need to serve. I hold off on adding the frozen cranberries and prosecco until my guests arrive, though, because you want those bubbles to be present! And the cranberries just help keep things super cold without using ice.
It’s that easy! It literally takes minutes!
You set out the punch bowl (or pitcher), along with some glasses, and maybe some additional slices fruit so people can garnish their glasses as they see fit. It’s a self-serve cocktail situation! Which means that you are able to focus on all the other hosting duties.
I find that sangria is generally a crowd pleaser. People just love it. Even those who say they aren’t big fans of wine seem to like sangria. It’s fruity and light, which appeals to the masses. It’s the perfect thing to serve for the holidays.
Do yourself a favor and check one more thing off your holiday to-do list: figuring out what cocktail to serve this Thanksgiving.
Make this one!
This Spiced Apple Butter Sangria is full of fall flavor and takes minutes to put together! It is an easy, make-ahead cocktail option that serves a crowd, making it perfect for the holiday season!
For the Spiced Simple Syrup:
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise
- 2 cloves
For the Sangria:
- The spiced simple syrup
- 4 oz apple butter
- 1 standard bottle of dry white wine (I like sauvignon blanc for this)
- 1 orange, sliced
- 2 apples, sliced
- 2 pears, sliced
- 1 cup frozen cranberries
- 1 standard bottle of prosecco
- Additional cinnamon sticks, for serving
For the Spiced Simple Syrup:
- Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Simmer for a minute or so or until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Add the spices, remove the pan from the heat, and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature (this allows the spices to steep in the syrup as it cools).
For the Sangria:
- To a large pitcher or punch bowl, add the spiced simple syrup and apple butter. Whisk to combine.
- Whisk in the white wine until well combined.
- Add in the sliced orange, apples, and pears and stir to combine.
- Refrigerate the sangria for at least 1 hour (and up to 8 hours) before serving.
Just before serving, add the frozen cranberries and the prosecco. Stir to combine and then serve garnished with additional cinnamon sticks, if preferred.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes (plus chilling time)
- Category: cocktails
Keywords: sangria recipes, white sangria recipe, spiced sangria, apple sangria, apple butter cocktails, apple sangria recipes, quick and easy cocktail for a crowd, holidays